Want vs Need

For the last few days while I’ve been ‘working & researching’, I’ve had Netflix on — Life Below Zero.

This is a show about several people that choose to live in extreme temperatures and conditions, in various locations of Alaska. Watching this show makes me question a lot of things — mostly, ‘What do I want? VS What do I need?’

And while clearly some of it is ‘scripted’ and set-up (ie cameras that view things from below the ice, and beneath snow, etc), it’s undeniable that it’s cold, and these people are roughing it in ways most of us will never experience.

I warn you though — this show is not for the squeamish. It depicts a lot of hunting, skinning, and butchering of animals — land or sea. If you’re anti-meat and anti-hunting, you will not want to watch this show. I personally have never killed a fur or feather bearing creature (not on purpose anyway), but being an Anishnaabekwe earth being, I understand the relationship between our Creator, and the things we’ve been gifted for our subsistence. Give thanks — appreciate the spirit that gave it’s life for you — and make sure it doesn’t die in vain.

All in all, we all have that will to live, no matter what life throws at us. Since the beginning, it’s always been about a symbiotic relationship with nature. The circle of life, and inter-dependency amongst species.

Photo taken end of August, up in the Yukon. If you want to see vast wilderness, make the road-trip.

I find it incredibly fascinating to see how others live, knowing that my ancestors dealt with many similar conditions, not that long ago. I am grateful for a glimpse into this ‘wild life’, and the ability to learn from the experiences shared with us.

Signage along the highway, depicting the way of life of the indigenous Kluane Lake peoples.

It’s a beautiful thing to see parents teaching their young, passing down the knowledge of our elders, and keeping the cultures alive.

While visiting this area of the Yukon, I took a few moments to forage some wild rose hips to bring home. I dried these, and make use of them in my nourishing tea blends. Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C — beneficial for keeping the body in optimal condition.

While I reflect on this show, and what I’ve experienced, I am looking forward to relocating into the bush, and creating my own homestead! I too have a desire to live off the land.

Life is a beautiful adventure.

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